22 May 2008

A Minor Case Study on SPAM

"Communigate Pro WEBUSER 5.1.13"

//long, drawn out sigh...

Well, this should be pretty fun. I think for the first time in my life, I'm actually going to be blogging and doing research about something worthwhile. It's just too dang bad that I'm not directly being paid to do this. /shrug, hopefully this will help someone else though, and especially the fine folks over at the FTC.

This all began when I decided to resurrect an old email address of mine. I had not used that email address for close to 10 years. I use AT T's DSL service and was tinkering around with my account settings and realized that they had automatically linked our newest email address and account information with my email address from Yahoo that I had abandoned due to SPAMMAGE.

I immediately cleaned up my Inbox, all 900+ messages and for some unknown reason, started to nurture and care for this email address. I have been monitoring the Inbox for a few days now, though I support and enjoy the refreshing-ness and smell of my Gmail Inbox. Yahoo has made some kinda neat enhancements to their UserInterface, if you like that sort of thing.

Fast-forward, to let's say, 3 hours ago, 22-May-08 @ 01:00. I opened my Yahoo Inbox and found an email address from "Patrick Williams" wanting to express to me just how happy he was to report the successful transfer of the funds. I was also to contact lovely "HELEN MORGAN", who would be so very kind to provide my disbursement for helping him earlier in said transaction... (My attention was lost, but being so late, and yearning for some entertainment, I read on)

Apparently, Patrick Williams, through his valiant efforts to steal some piece of identity from me, dupe me into providing a bank account, or some other sort of fraudulent activity, broke my camel's back. I decided that from this point on, I would participate in, advocate for, and contribute in the apprehension of such individuals behind Patrick Williams' email address. The following explains actions that not only I have taken, but also I encourage you to participate in as well.

In order to combat SPAM, there are a couple of requirements that I have for you. First, I ask that you please do not take the easy road of just pressing that SPAM button. Yes, it should be "training" your email service to help prevent your Inbox from receiving further SPAM messages, but keep in mind the mastermind behind that "waste-of-your-life" is still at his computer, sending more SPAM to you and your fellow Interneters. Second, please visit this site to read about the United States Public Law that was introduced to help stop SPAM, to punish those who participate in the act, and to protect you: The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003.

How you can help:

  1. Gather Ammunition

  2. Ship Ammunition to the "guns"

  3. Feel good knowing that your actions will help put a criminal behind bars

  4. Hope that you are the first person to report a SPAMMER that is brought to justice

Why would you want to be the first person to report a SPAMMER that is brought to justice you ask? Let me tell you!
Please take a brief moment to view a recent Blog Post of mine that explains how you are able to actually make money by helping our government apprehend a SPAMMER: http://fromkaje.blogspot.com/2008/05/how-to-make-money-caning-spam.html

Each email service is different, but for those of you who use Yahoo's new interface, this will explain how I was able to get the information about the SPAMMER. SpamCop.net has an extensive list available for nearly every Email software and the major web-based email sites if you are interested. So,
here's what we do:

  • Gather; We need the original "Full Header" from the suspected SPAM email message.

  • Right-click directly on the email message

  • Click the "View Full Headers" link at the very bottom of the menu

  • With the "Full Message Headers" window now open, single-click anywhere inside this box

  • Press and hold the "Control" key and the letter "A" to "Select All" text

  • Press and hold the "Control" key and the letter "C" to "Copy" the text

  • Click the "OK" button at the bottom of this window.

  • Click the "Reply" button to reply to the sender of this SPAM

  • With the new message window open, single-click at the top of the message body, where you type your email message

  • Press and hold the "Control" key and the letter "V" to "Paste" the previously copied Message Header into your email message

  • In the To: box or the CC: box, we are going to enter the recipients of our reporting to ensure the email is "properly" flagged or spam

  • Enter the following email addresses:

    • spam@uce.gov

    • abuse@yahoo.com

    • abuse@att.com

    • abuse@yourISP.com - replace yourISP with your actual Internet Service Provider

  • From here, if you want to get a little more creative, I like to add a few lines such as:

  • This is an attempt to have my email addressed removed from your list. I would also ask that you contact the person in which you received this list and request they also remove my email address. This email is being forwarded to my local authorities, my service provider and your service provider in hopes that my small contributions will aid in the reduction of nonsense SPAM being sent by individuals like you.

  • To make you sound more serious but also to give the spammers and government a little clue that you know what you're talking about, ad this quote:

  • The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, Pub. L. No. 108-187, 117 Stat. 2699 (2003) (codified at 15 U.S.C. §§ 7701-7713 and 18 U.S.C. § 1037),

    Sect 2-b-3, I, as the recipient of such email, I have a right to decline to receive additional commercial electronic mail from the same source.

  • Press Send!

If you have any questions, comments, concerns about any of this information I have presented today, please feel free to contact me:

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